Friday, June 25, 2004

If you want to be an infallible prophet in my church then fine - let's play by the biblical rules --- if you are wrong we get to kill you.

I found this today, via Jonny Baker, and love it absolutely. I hate it when people come and say, "God told me...blahblahblah..." How is a pastor/person/human supposed to answer that. In reality "God told me" is the Christianese equivalent of

"Don't you be holding me accountable, you unspiritual freaknut. How on earth do you think you can tell me what God is saying and what he ain't? You are so unspiritual! Have you even read through the Bible three times in one year? How long was your quiet time today? That's it - I gotta go down to the local charismatic church and get the 'spirit' (which is Christianese for 'get my freak on').

So, I'm opinionated here too. I think there was something in my ink!

So read the link. It's by a guy named Scott Williams. Never heard of him - but I like him already!

check it and let me know what you think!

James <><

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Lacy Fizzox

And here is another student's reflection, Lacy Fizzox. Hope you enjoy it...

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Here's the a really cool reflection that I read online from one of the students who went to San Francisco. It's really honest and earnest.

I'll post some of my memories later...

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Altar Calls

I post this because of so many people asking me about my stance on evangelism and especially altar calls. It is originally from another discussion I was having, but it is my process right now and I thought I'd post it so the google-world could see.

I am averse to atlar calls. I have been in my current position for a little more than a year and I've actually had kids complain that I don't do enough altar calls. But the students I am leading have become conditioned to cry their guts out on a Wednesday night and live like hell Thursday morning. It had become "confessional" to them - a pseudo-catholic ritual. There were no lasting changes.

I am averse to altar calls because I have seen teenagers so manipulated that I categorize it under emotional rape. I have seen speakers/preachers/pastors so play on adolescent develpment/emotions/hormones that a student responds to an altar call and afterwards has little memory of what went on - similar to a horrible car wreck.

I am averse to altar calls because of hearing students say, "I went up to the altar last night. I do it every year at camp - so I figured I would do it on Monday, so that I can relax the rest of the week." We might as well be offering therapy!

I am averse to altar calls because they are not wholistic, which is the kind of process salvation that I desire for the people I interact with, especially for students in my city. I am convinced that Christ wants emotions, intellect, spirit, passion, muscle, everything, to repond to His gift/grace/love.

I have seen great things come about from an altar call, including my life. But, especially in my life, lasting change comes not from the emotional experience alone, but from a continuing, pacing relationship.

It's not that I hate altar calls...

I hate compartmentalized/marganalized/individualized Christianity.

San Francisco via Yreka

I'm back from San Francisco!

It was an intense and meaningful week. The service we did in the communities was outstanding and we helped to make people's lives just a little closer to the reality that Christ has for them. It wrecked me to see the situations kids were in and to think of my own son, for whom I take so much for granted.

Perhaps most personally moving for me was driving through Yreka, CA both ways. It was, of course, the home of Mike Yaconelli, one of my life shapers. I spent time praying for youth workers and pastors all over the world while driving through as I was struck that I am sure prayers for youth pastors, myself included, had risen from that valley so many times before. Mike certainly did not know my name, but he knew my heart, and that's the best! I'll end with a backdoor qoute from Yaconelli...

I'm in awe of youth workers, and I think Jesus is, too.
I just wish the Church felt the same.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Church of Fools

This is an online church called Church of Fools. It is an effort by Christians in England to give people a place online where they can connect with God. It is truly a shift in outreaching principles. Previous to the reorientation, we would assume (I use that word intentionally...) that a flashy website with good-looking people on it would attract people. And then they could be presented (read:tricked) with the gospel. Therewithin, modern evangelism at it's proudest moments.

This church is ancient looking, quiet and one of the characters you can assume bears a striking resemblance to Ned Flanders.

Within the walls of this church you will find people who are respecting the holy space, and conversing the an adjoining room. Where people regularly gather to gain truth. To make truth true (mad props:Andrew Jones).

It's worth a visit. It's worth more than a visit.

But what do you think?

Is this a viable outreach? Is it an excuse waiting to happen for lazy-butt Christians? Comment if you'd like and help the truth here become true.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Amazing Pentecost Servic3

I just came accross this amazing story of a Pentecost service in New Zealand. Since visiting in the early 90's, my heart longs to return to NZ, what a beautiful place. This service probably couldn't be done in our church - there's a couple ladies who probably wouldn't appreciate this amount of fire outside of a glass container...

I tried typing the "e" at the end three times and I couldn't.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Andrew Jones' Call to Excellence

I need to get back to studying and posting - been pouring into myself as of late - and I'm about overflowing and ready to pour some more out. Looks like fun times ahead.

All this is inspired by Andrew Jones, whome I don't know, but am becoming acquainted with. So check out his aniversary post and the call to excellence he gives.

Feeling like moving to France,

Saturday, June 05, 2004


Here's a pretty amazing post by T-heresa, which I hope you find engaging.

She's a good kid that will pan out, she thinks I am going to take the youth ministry to these amazing places...secret is, I just want to show the way - she can take them there!

Books! from walmart?

I'm adding a column of books that I am currently working through and linking them to Walmart gives me the best deals on books - not as cool as Amazon...but it's my paper (props to xzibit...waving hands, waving hands), and I'm not going to hand it out to anyone for nothing.

I want to write on the books when I finish each, but...I haven't even wrote about McLaren yet!
Anyways - teaching Sunday School tommorrow...on how prayer is better than sleeping...alone or with someone! Hopefully it will be hard to sleep through!


Friday, June 04, 2004

New Format!

There's a new format in the reorientation - thanks to the people at blogspot! Of course, this means, I've lost all my comments. So go back through an remember the important stuff you wrote!

I am also going to work on fixing the column up and having books and such there as well. New stuff!

Today is a bit of a slow day - working on getting stuff going for summer...easy breazy beautiful.


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Last Communion

On Friday I participated in a man's last communion. It was something that I never thought I'd ever be doing, yet there I was, with another pastor, ministering a man through his death. It was unlike anything else in the world. The man ended up passing away that evening and the funeral services are this week.

It was one of those moments where being a "youth pastor" was superceded by being a "man of God." At least that is what "qualified" me to be with these people at this time. What was amazing to me is that people looked to me like I knew what was going on, like I could handle this. The only thing I had a handle on was the assurance that another pastor was going to be there, and he knew what to do. In the moments that I was there alone, before my pastor friend arrived, I came to see in a real and fresh way what it meant to be fully present. Nobody expected me to do anything, they just appreciated my being there. I simply visited, prayed, participated in some of a disciple's last hours on earth.

Just another day? No way.